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Full text of "The Gay Genius"

356                             THE GAY GENIUS

Shimin, No. 109; Volume 4 has some very good material. Both Liang
Chichao, No. no, and Ko Changyi, No. in, made themselves special
pleaders for Wang, which vitiates the quality of their arguments and
evidence. This is not the place to enter into the controversial subject.
Briefly, Liang and Ko pleaded (i) that Wang was a great poet and
scholar, which nobody denies; (2) that Wang was a socialist and "there-
fore in line with modern thinking", (without distinguishing the
particular variety of socialism that Wang put into practice); (3) that
Wang was inspired for patriotic motives to make China a strong
military state, and that it was justified by the times (forgetting that the
wars of aggression were not so popular with the people who had to
fight them); (4) that all history writing of Wang's period was based on
biased sources by the generation that saw the fall of the northern Sung
and therefore was prejudiced against him (without quite accounting for
how that generation of men who tasted the fruits of his regime were
so unanimous in their condemnation); and (5) that Wang was not
responsible for the persecution of the Yuanyu scholars and for the party
strife that grew out of his regime.

L. GEOGRAPHY (Nos. 112-119):

Nos, 112 and 113 are geographical works of the northern Sung period,
with details of population and products, etc. A fascinating book is
No. 114, a detailed description of the northern Sung capital, its palaces,
streets, shops, customs, and festivals. Similar in content but twice its
size is No. 115, a description of Hangchow when it was the capital of
the southern Sung. No. 116 contains stories connected with Hangchow
in the latter part of the twelfth century. No. 117 gives the artistic and
literary history and miscellaneous anecdotes connected with West Lake
and the Hangchow environs. No. 118 is the diary of Lu Yu's voyage
up the Yangtse to Szechuen in 1170, including his visit to Tungpo's
house at Huangchow. No. 119 is the record of Fan Chengta's voyage
down the Yangtse from Chengtu in 1177.

M. FACSIMILES (Nos. 120-124):

Rubbings from inscriptions in Su Tungpo's handwriting are too
numerous to mention. Particular note is taken here of No. 120, referred
to on page 243 iri Chapter XX. No. 121 contains the portrait owned
by Weng Fangkang, reproduced in this book; its contents are told oh
pages 39-40 in Chapter XL No. 122 contains facsimiles of Su Tungpo's
writing and his brother's. No. 123 is a particularly good facsimile of
Su's poem to his female cousin's father-in-law. Letters in the hand-
writing; of at least a dozen characters in this biography are reproduced
in the publications of the Palace Museum, Peking, No. 124.